H. Pylori Breath Test

Testing for a stomach infection caused by the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori.


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What is a Helicobacter Pylori Breath Test?

Helicobacter Pylori is a bacterium which can live in the stomach. A Helicobacter Pylori breath test is a simple breath test to determine whether or not you have an infection in your stomach caused by the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori.

Why do I need a Helicobacter Pylori Breath Test?

Due to your symptoms your healthcare professional has decided that you may have a stomach infection caused by the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori. As such, your healthcare professional has asked the department to perform a Helicobacter Pylori breath test for one of two reasons:

  • Your healthcare professional wants to confirm whether you are suffering from Helicobacter Pylori to help diagnose your condition.

  • You have already been diagnosed as being infected with Helicobacter Pylori and have taken the medication aimed at clearing up the infection. Your healthcare professional now wishes to find out if the treatment has been successful.

Can the test have any complications or risks?

There are no complications, risks or side effects documented from people having a Helicobacter Pylori breath test performed. It is not expected that performing the Helicobacter Pylori breath test during pregnancy and lactation has any damaging effect. The Helicobacter Pylori breath test has no influence on the ability to drive or to use machinery.

What will happen?

The test is very easily performed. It requires you to breathe down a straw into two tubes, and then you will drink 200ml of water containing a sachet with a mixture of citric, tartaric and malic acid. You will then drink 50ml of water containing Urea (this is a tasteless test solution, which will help to establish if Helicobacter Pylori is present). You will then have a 30 minute wait, after which you will breathe down a straw into two more tubes. The test is then complete, the procedure will last approximately 40 minutes and you may then go back to work or home.

What happens after the test?

The results of the breath test will be sent to a laboratory to be analyzed and the results should be available within a week. The consultant in charge of your care or your doctor will be informed of the result and they will decide what to do next for you. You should expect to hear within 4 weeks of having the test.

Have more questions? Contact us, here.

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